Saturday, February 20, 2010


Tillerman has challenged the bloggers to do this thing about “what I hate about sailing”. The contest is all over and that is good. He had a lot of good posts.

But who cares what I hate about sailing? Who cares what Larry hates about sailing?

This is not really “how to sail the laser stuff” so I will probably come along and erase this after a few days, but we have not had any new posts for a long time. I need to make some posts now and then.. Or do we? I think if you go back and read them all, you will find almost everything you need to know!

If I did have time for this monkey business – it would be the crew – 100 reasons to hate the crew.

There was the time when we were sailing the Thistle and had a five and a six year old kid in the boat during the races. They would get bored and fall asleep on the forward air tank just under the jib. Once at a regatta we were protested for having too many in the crew. Big deal. I think it was disallowed–we weren’t winning and maybe I didn’t even go to the protest hearing. Never went back to that place again.

When my middle son, David, crewed for me on the Snipe, he had to steer because he was too small to trim the jib. So I trimmed both the jib and main and Dave steered the boat. He had most of the fun, but I called all the shots until he got old enough to have his own opinion about when to tack.

So we started doing Sunfish. Everybody had their own boat. When David got ahead and began standing up to look for more wind, I knew we were in big trouble.

Then when we were doing J 24 in Key West, I liked the foredeck crew to lean back against the mast for stability when they were forward and fooling around with the spinnaker pole. I had two crew that had grown up living on boats and they danced around on the foredeck without holding on to anything. For that mater they danced all over the boat. I am all the time guessing if I will go back for them, when they fall over board. I hate those guys.

There were the sailors that we picked up off the dock to help crew. Now we had arguments about where to go and when to tack. All Chiefs and no Indians.

Then the smoker that trimmed the jib and was right in front of the helm (me) – couldn’t stand the second hand smoke and got rib of that guy.

The drinkers– lots of stories about them. Maybe after the race is over, but not during, if we are going to be out 6 or 8 hours.

My wife, Marjorie, was always my best crew. Snipe, Thistle, Sunfish (yes, we used to sail them double), J24. On the J24 she was the one that could detect what was going on. “Hey, Sam, you are really going slow” and we would bear off a little and ease the jib just a little and get the boat moving faster. If the wind was up, she was afraid of salt water death. She would put on her life jacket and go below. “ Hey Marjorie, we need your 95 pounds on the windward rail.” “No, but I am on the windward bunk.” I really hate crews.

The Laser rules allow two on the boat, if they sail all the races that way.

Sometimes Jennifer comes with her two little daughters sailing with her. One on the foredeck and one back in the cockpit. Luke sometimes comes with a friend. We should do more of that and get more people out in Lasers.

Now occasionally when I am sailing alone in my Laser, some other guy is talking to me. Saying things like–“ the water is too cold!” “If the wind gets any stronger, maybe the old guy needs to go home.”

Last week I was sailing out for the first race and a big gust comes along. I am on a fast plane with white caps forming all around. And this other guy is telling me that it is too cold and windy for an 82 year old guy. I get the vang way off and go into survival mode, sail by the RC, thank them for coming, but that I am not going to stay. I head for home. On my way back in I notice that everybody else is hanging in. They have set up a triangle course that we use when the wind is up a little so we can be sure of getting some planning in.

I hate those crews and I am not taking that old guy out with me any more. And that is reason #100 that I hate crews.

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